Surviving Eternity

I knew he was coming to talk about
what was tattooed on his skin
and it would be hard to witness again
his truth.
I had my expectations, I confess.

You said the one who was talking
at the moment was again eleven years old
and for some minutes I saw you in him,
queuing with a pan in his hands,
waiting for some soup.
It was a coloured black and white photo.
All those small faces were so sad.
I felt the past carving a six-pointed yellow star
on me, my eyes blurred, somebody was crying
next to me. We were petrified.
That picture was a metaphor to Hell.

As you talked, my heart slowed more
and the morning wept, full of remorse
and regrets. You said you didn't know
how you survived five years there;
when it was over, you were seventeen
and weighed 59.5 pounds.
They robbed your youth, your family,
your right to dream.

You swallowed your tears, drinking water,
as you talked about your father:
more one corpse among the others.
You survived eternity
to tell us about incomprehensible things,
I learnt again what empathy was.

Some day we shall see
we are no different from each other
because we want the same things:
love, life, shelter, food, dreams, dignity.

For awhile,
absurdities, numbness isolating,
a great( in)difference surrounding men and
women: the ridiculous impetuosity living
in the human beast.

Karla Bardanza

This poem is a tribute to Mr Aleksander Henryk Laks - one of the survivors of Auschwitz.It was an honour to meet him.
Mr Laks ' photo
Mr Laks' photo among the other children during the war:
This photo made me write the poem you have read.

Copyright©Karla Bardanza 2013 Photobucket

1 comment:

  1. Toda Raba, thank you for this memorial to those
    who suffered unnecessarily. I pray this never ever happens again to another human being. Shalom